Saturday, May 28, 2011

Finale Craft Beer Tasting

Ever since I returned home from New Orleans on Monday night I've had a slew of non-stop weekday events and dinners. Luckily, I took Tuesday off from work in advance so I could have a day to breath / unpack / upload photos before going at it again. On Tuesday evening I met my friend Michelle at Coolidge Corner in Brookline to attend a Craft Beer Tasting Event at Finale Desserterie & Bakery. Hosted by their pastry chef Nicole Cody and Craft Brewers beer expert Erika Soucy, these ladies did a fantastic job of planning the pairings and leading us through the tasting; which showcased five flavored craft beers each with a decadent pastry. They encouraged us to taste the dessert first, then sip beer and vise versa. Switching up the order surprises the palate and allows you to determine which order you like better with which pair. My favorite just so happened to be the first pairing of Lindeman’s Peche with a fresh Seasonal Fruit Tart. I love Lindeman's Framboise, but I had no idea they made a peach flavor! This light and fruity beer balanced nicely with the richness of the tahitian vanilla and bavarian cream in the tart. The next paring was an 8% alcohol, full bodied Bosteel’s Tripel Karmeliet which enhanced the very simple, cold and custardy Crème Brulee. The third pairing introduced me to a beer I can't wait to try again, a Wells Banana Bread which is a traditional ale from England. The bready mouthfeel and prevalent banana notes complimented the Bavarian cream, yellow cake and semi sweet chocolate icing in the Boston Cream Pie. The Schneider Aventinus Eisbock delivered a strong (12% alcohol) Germain ale with a hint of clove and spiciness. The Chocolate Symphony Squares offered three layers of sweet mousse to stand up to the beer with a Dark Chocolate first, followed by a white chocolate and finally a milk chocolate mousse. For the final round we tasted Atwater Vanilla Java Porter. It was lighter than I expected - a well rounded porter that was smooth and easy to drink. The pairing with the rich, flourless Dark Chocolate Decadence worked out well. I was actually pretty full at this point!
The event was well organized; with the pairings evenly paced and passionately spoken about. I enjoyed the exposure to some unconventional craft beers and who can argue with dessert for dinner?! Finale Coolidge Corner holds different tasting events on certain Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. If you are interested, check out the schedule for details about upcoming happenings.
Finale Coolidge Corner on Urbanspoon


Special thanks to Mindy Valone at CM Communications for the warm welcome and of course Michelle for inviting me as her guest!

9 comments:

Megan said...

I'm so intrigued by that banana bread beer... and the peach beer.

MOLLY GALLER said...

Wow! I am drooling! Would have loved to score an invite to that tasting!

melissanibbles said...

I would never think to have beer with dessert. Color me intrigued.

Ameena said...

Chocolate Symphony Squares? You get to taste the most amazing things...I am totally jealous.

Jen said...

Oh my yum. The beers and desserts look absolutely delicious! I love how creative they were with the servings and pairings!

Elizabeth said...

I've seen banana bread beer several places but have never tried it. I definitely want to.

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

Mmm this looks like the perfect way to unwind from NOLA!

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

Those desserts look beautiful!

Alicia said...

Sounds like such an interesting tasting menu! I would never think to pair beer and dessert!